Democrat Obey to Retire House Appropriations chief faced tough re-election 27 comments Comments File photo of Rep. David Obey, D-Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson, File) (User Submitted) – Democratic sources say House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey will not seek re-election, reports AP. The Wisconsin Democrat, first elected to his seat in 1969, easily won his 20th full term in 2008 with 61% of the vote, but he faced a potentially difficult re-election bid this fall. Obey's decision came as a disappointing surprise for Democrats, who are trying to stem their midterm losses. He is expected to make an official announcement this afternoon.